Fear and uncertainty determine Canadians' financial goals

By Andrew Rickard | November 17 2015 09:34AM

Research commissioned by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) shows that 79% of Canadian do not have a high level of confidence in their ability to achieve their financial life goals, and only 18% strongly agree that they are knowledgeable about financial matters.

The FPSC study was released on November 12 and revealed a high level of financial anxiety among Canadians, with 68% saying they worry a lot about their financial situation. Women were somewhat more likely than men to be concerned about their financial situation (73% vs. 68%), while middle aged people were the most likely group to say they worry a lot (79%).

Canadians were particularly keen to establish a financial cushion for themselves; asked to rank a number of different goals, 94% said that their number one priority was building a savings or emergency fund, although 93% also indicated they wanted to be free of major financial debt, and 92% said they would like to pay off common consumer debt such as credit cards and lines of credit.

"These financial priorities far outranked home ownership, saving for education and leaving an inheritance," notes the FPSC. "It's interesting to note that the importance of leaving a good sized inheritance is the lowest priority for Canadians overall, dropping from 67% in youth to 60% in mid-life, to 50% for those 50 years of age and older."

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